Marc Morano, founder and editor of CFACT’s award-winning Climate Depot news and information service took on the Sierra Club last night in a debate on CNN’s the 11th Hour.
Morano debated Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune and Philippe Cousteau, president of Earth Echo International. The debate was moderated by CNN’s Don Lemon.
Morano did a masterful job of using facts to take down the invalid notions of a global warming consensus and links between extreme weather and climate change.
As Brune’s arguments collapsed under Morano’s barrage of facts, Brune tried to save the situation by resorting to one of the warming left’s standby tactics, falsely accusing Morano of being controlled by energy companies. Brune did not expect Marc’s reply, “he’s mentioning funding by the way, which I think is funny. The Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas and Michael has the audacity to try to imply that skeptics are fossil-fuel funded.”
Sierra Club acted as a hired gun by the gas industry to trash coal companies. Why compete when you can rent seek?
THE 11th HOUR
With Supporting Links Added Throughout Morano’s Section
East Coast Continually Pounded by Storms; Strange Things Happening in the Animal Kingdom; What’s Causing the Extreme Weather; A Link Between Climate Change and Health?
Aired December 10, 2013 – 23:00 ET on CNN
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You are looking live at New York City. It’s not even winter yet, but today is a record for snowfall for the day dating back to 1932. And that’s nothing. 90 percent of the country will have below normal temperatures by morning. Anybody else out there think this is extreme weather?
It’s 11:00 in the east, everyone. Do you know where your news is? I’m Don Lemon. This is THE 11TH HOUR, the last word on today and what you’ll be talking about tomorrow.
… (Break in transcript)
CNN ’11th Hour host DON LEMON: I want you to stay right there because I want you to join our debate on what’s causing this extreme weather and how much we should worry.
LEMON: Welcome back. I’m Don Lemon. This is THE 11TH HOUR.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme weather, one of the hottest debates in the country right now. Going head-to-head tonight, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club; Marc Morano, editor-in-chief at climatedepot.com; and back with us is Philippe Cousteau, president of Earth Echo International and also a CNN special correspondent.
So, Marc, I’m going to start with you.
Look at what we’re experiencing now. We’re experiencing below- zero temperatures in Chicago earlier than anytime in the last two decades, a record snowfall for today in New York. Tomorrow morning, 90 percent of the country will face below normal temperatures. If this isn’t climate change, then what is it?
MARC MORANO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CLIMATEDEPOT.COM: So record cold is now evidence of man-made global warming? What evidence would disprove climate change? It seems like no matter the weather, everything that happens proves it.
The bottom line is, in 2013, we’re having one of the least extreme weather years on record. This report came out about a month ago. And if you look at the longer-term trend, there’s actually a declining or no trend in U.S. droughts or global droughts. There’s no trend in floods going back I think up to 127 years. One study was the Journal Nature on the droughts. Tornadoes, big tornadoes, F-3 and larger have been on decline since the 1950s. Hurricanes, the U.S. has gone almost eight years now, over eight years without a major category 3 or larger hurricane hitting, the longest period since before 1900. So on every measure of extreme weather, it ain’t there. ‘Global weirding’ is nothing more than a pseudoscience expression. And in the 1970s, the global cooling scare, as popularized in the media and by many scientists, they blamed extreme weather, in fact, specifically “Newsweek,” the 1974 tornado outbreaks, on global cooling.
LEMON: OK, MARC –
MORANO: They had their own 1970s version of global weirding.
LEMON: — we get your point. You don’t think it’s real.
LEMON: Michael –
MORANO: Scientific journals don’t think it’s real.
LEMON: Michael, obviously, you think he’s wrong, don’t you?
MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: I do. All of what MARC said would be very compelling if it were true. This is something that has been settled. The science is settled right now. The top climate scientists in the world, thousands of them, are now as confident that climate change is real as they are that cigarettes make people sick. The only folks who are arguing this are the occasional climate skeptic or the people who are paid for by the fossil fuel industry. We know that the extreme weather events that we’re seeing, the record wildfires, the record droughts, the extreme storms that we’re seeing, the hurricane that we saw with a 1,000-mile diameter that hit the eastern seaboard late October of last year, are precisely what scientists have said would be the cause of global warming and climate change.
BRUNE: What we need to do now — the danger here, MARC, is we should not be burying our head in the sand when the seas are rising. We have to face facts, face reality, and start to embrace the solutions to climate change that are evident and available today.
LEMON: OK, listen, I want to — there are people who say — not necessarily climate change deniers, just rational people — saying we really haven’t been keeping records for that long, considering how long the earth has been around. This is just a natural phenomenon that occurs. Warming is going to happen. Since the Ice Age, the earth has been warming, and it’s normal.
How do you respond to that, Michael?
BRUNE: Well, we do have records that go back hundreds or even thousands of years that can show how the earth’s temperatures have increased dramatically in the last 150 years. And the concentration of global warming gasses in the atmosphere are at levels that we haven’t seen in millions of years. And we know that this is because of the burning of fossil fuels.
But if you put all of that aside, the thing that we need to embrace right now that is these extreme weather events that we’re seeing that we’re beginning to experience right now are causing a serious deterioration of the quality of our lives across the country. I’ve talked to ranchers in Nebraska who have lost their cattle because of the severe drought that we’re they’re experiencing. I’ve talked to families in Texas, the massive wildfire outside of Austin, Texas, destroyed 1200 homes in a period of less than 24 hours. My own family’s house was flooded in New Jersey because of Superstorm Sandy. And around the country, if you haven’t experienced an extreme weather event in the last couple years, give it a little bit of time because, over the next couple of decades, almost all of us are going to have some relationship to these extreme weather events.
LEMON: All right, Philippe, I’m going ask you a question in a moment but this one is for you, MARC.
The new study in the “Journal of Nature Climate Change” says the Arctic is linked to extreme weather further south, like heat waves, downpours and so on. What do you make of that?
MORANO: It’s a wild theory. They had similar theories in the 1970s, trying to blame extreme weather on these kinds of variables. The bottom line is the Arctic ice was started monitoring in 1979 at a high point of the 1970s global cooling scare. We lost ice. This year, by the way, we rebounded, depending on what dates you want to pick, almost a third or more of the ice, and global sea ice currently is the highest in 25 years. Antarctic Sea ice is at or near record. Which no one wants to talk about, Antarctic Sea ice, because it’s inconvenient to the narrative.
But the idea that we’re having extreme weather — listening to Michael [Brune] talk there — it’s mind boggling. The earth is geologically billions of years old and we’re sitting around here scratching our heads saying, wow, we had a hurricane last year, which was barely a category 1 when it hit. By the way, it’s not me, and he’s mentioning funding by the way, which I think is funny. The Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas and Michael has the audacity to try to imply that skeptics are fossil-fuel funded.
The bottom line is these are in scientific peer-review journals, the studies I just cited, The Journal Nature on drought, and floods was in a hydrological journal. There’s no trend. You can’t find the trend. Professor Roger Pielke Jr, the University of Colorado, is testifying in Congress tomorrow on these very points. You can’t support the extreme weather memo. Yes, you can make a lot of interesting stories out of it. Sierra Club can raise money. But it’s akin to saying many bad things will happen, therefore, when a bad thing happens, you say, see, I told you so. It’s consistent with our theory.
MORANO: Extreme weather is consistent with the history of the earth. There is no trend to point to climate change. It’s not there.
Now, that’s separate from the larger question of, is climate change happening. That’s a different question. But, of course, climate change is governed by hundreds of factors –
MORANO: — more than just one factor.
LEMON: MARC and Michael, stick around.
Philippe, you’ve got to be aggressive if you want to get in on these guys because they’re really fired up about this.
COUSTEAU: I’m actually enjoying this back and forth a little bit. I certainly have things to say, as you know, Don, but –
LEMON: I know you do. And I want to talk to you about the human toll –
LEMON: I want to talk about the human toll and what it means to our health.
COUSTEAU: That’s what we lose in this debate.
LEMON: So stick around. We’re going to do it right after the break.
So should we just stop fighting about it and get to work changing it? We’re going to talk about that when we come right back.
LEMON: I’m Don Lemon. This is THE 11TH HOUR. Thank you for all your feedback on social media, @the11thhour.
I’m back with my Michael Brune, of the Sierra Club; MARC Morano, of climatedepot.com.
MARC, you have a lot of people mad on Twitter. So go check your Twitter account after this.
Philippe Cousteau, of Earth Echo International, and our special correspondent.
Philippe, you think we need to change the focus of this conversation and talk about the link between climate change and health, especially for children who may be suffering from asthma or other ailments?
COUSTEAU: I do, Don. I think we can sit here and argue all day long, and certainly we’ve done that for several years and the climate deniers have had their say, I think too much of a say over the last few years, based on the flimsiness of much of the science that they’re quoting or misquoting, as the case may be.
Nonetheless, I think we need to start talking less about climate change and more about carbon. We need to be talking about the human cost. We need to remember that people suffer from fossil fuel burning in this country. The economy suffers. A great example, $18 billion a year is spent dealing with the impacts of asthma in this country, largely from outdoor air pollution. The cost to our security. A terrific article actually by CNN last year talked about how one in eight casualties in the war in Iraq was from our war fighters, our brave men and women in uniform, escorting fuel convoys. The DOD is one of the biggest investors in renewable energy. We also need to remember things like ocean acidification, another carbon problem where our oceans, absorbing carbon, become more acidic, and all the impacts it has on ocean wildlife. I think we need to get out of this bickering and start dealing with the very human cost and the costs to our economy and our security and start enacting solutions.
LEMON: MARC, come on. Listen, he makes a very good point. Because even if you don’t agree with climate change, why not take steps to improve the environment and improve the earth?
Listen to what George Clooney said and then we’ll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you you are sick, and 1 percent that says, ah, you’re fine, you probably want to hang out and check it up for the 99. You know what I mean? The idea that we ignore that we are in some way involved in climate change is ridiculous. What’s the worst that can happen? We clean up the earth a little bit? And, yeah, I find this to be the most ridiculous argument ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There you go, MARC. What’s wrong with cleaning up the earth a little bit?
MORANO: There’s nothing wrong. In fact, Dennis Rancourt, a professor in Canada, on the left-wing side of things, said that global warming has been hijacked by the environmental movement. That’s the problem. Real environmental problems are forgotten here.
When you have Philippe Cousteau talk about the children, children benefit from carbon-based energy. As you look around the world, 1.2 billion people don’t have running water or electricity, living in dire poverty. They need coal plants and natural gas and oil. That is the most pro-child thing you can do.
LEMON: Listen, Michael –
COUSTEAU: Wait a second now.
COUSTEAU: The United Nations estimates –
LEMON: Hold on.
COUSTEAU: — coal-fired power plants cause mercury pollution. They can pollute — that over a million women of child-bearing age now have enough mercury pollution in their bodies to cause some sort of mental and physical deformities to their children.
COUSTEAU: — the best thing we can do for our children.
MORANO: In places like Africa, and particularly and the United States where it’s 35 percent to 40 percent of our electricity, to ban it when you have no replacement other than fracking, which has been working out great – (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: It’s been a great conversation. We’re not going to come –
LEMON: We’ll keep talking about it.
Hey, Michael, quickly, do you think the administration is doing enough about this?
BRUNE: I think the administration is doing a good job. They get an incomplete grade so far.
One quick point, though. The best way to get pollution to the 1.2 billion people, or power to the 1.2 billion people that don’t have it, the cleanest way and the cheapest way is solar and wind.
LEMON: All right.
BRUNE: We have solutions right now to climate change that are cheaper than gas, cheaper than coal, cheaper than oil.
LEMON: Michael, MARC, Philippe, thank you very much.
And before we go tonight, here’s something you’ll be talking about tomorrow. “New York Times” reports President Obama’s approval ratings have bounced back to where they were before the whole Obamacare mess. But only 42 percent of Americans now approve of the president’ overall performance. 50 percent disapprove.
Tomorrow, on THE 11TH HOUR, the Connecticut pastor who says he is sick of Newtown. The tragic loss of his own son, and what he’s doing to end gun violence.
That’s it for us tonight.
Flashback January 2013: Watch Now: A Really Short Climate Debate on CNN’s Piers Morgan — Climate Depot’s Morano vs. Sierra Club Warmist Michael Brune – Morano: Warmists are embarrassed by ‘flat-lining temperatures. So the whole movement has shifted to extreme storm’ claims
Climate Astrology: Blizzard blamed on global warming?! Is there any weather event that is inconsistent with global warming? — Climate Depot Round up – ’No matter what the weather is like, it always turns out to be exactly the kind of weather we should expect if human activity were causing global temps to rise’
New Study: ’2013 ranks as one of the least extreme U.S. weather years ever’– Many bad weather events at ‘historically low levels’ – ‘Whether you’re talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the US are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.’
Tornadoes: ‘lowest total in several decades’
Number of wildfires: ‘On pace to be the lowest it has been in the past ten years’
Extreme Heat: The number of 100 degree days may ‘turn out to be the lowest in about 100 years of records’
Hurricanes: ‘We are currently in the longest period (8 years) since the Civil War Era without a major hurricane strike in the US (i.e., category 3, 4 or 5)’ ( last cat 3 or larger hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma in 2005)